Monday, April 18, 2016

The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Thank You Cards

A Bride On A Budget was sent these cards for review. All thoughts and opinions belong to A Bride On A Budget.

We were fortunate that a ton of our friends got married before us. We were able to go to their weddings and see what we liked (and didn't like), what worked (and what flopped). We were also able to get a ton of thank you cards before we had to think about ours.

One of the thank you cards was from my friend Nicole. Her card was actually still sitting on our fridge until we moved. Why? Because it was pretty much the epitome of the perfect thank you card. She got married over four years ago and, in that time, we've been to countless weddings and gotten just as many thank you cards. And the only one that was still on our fridge was Nicole's.

So when it was our time to do thank you cards, I knew I had to use a few of her tips and tricks so hopefully, years later, people would still have our thank you cards.

Writing your thank yous? Before you do, you NEED to read The Ultimate Guide To Thank You Cards from

I learned a lot about thank you cards, more than you would expect actually. But that's how it went with every aspect of wedding planning. So, to help you, I've put together The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Thank You Cards.

The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Thank You Cards

Writing your thank yous? Before you do, you NEED to read The Ultimate Guide To Thank You Cards from

1. You have six months to send them.
With wedding thank you cards, you actually have up to six months to send them before you're "late" on them, especially if you're adding your own photos. In some cases, it can take up to three months before you'll get your professional photos back from your photographer. After that, you'll select the ones you want for your wedding thank you card, order your card, and then find a night (or weekend) to sit down and write them all. It takes a while and your guests understand that. Anything longer than six months post-wedding gets a little dicey, although you should try to send them out within 12 weeks.

If you're not including photos, you should send them out as soon as possible.

2. Send a thank you card to everyone who attended your wedding and anyone who sent you a gift.
You had a wedding and you invited people to celebrate with you. You didn't invite people so that your wedding would turn into a fund raiser. Yes, many of your guests will give you a gift but they don't have to. Sometimes, their presence is just their present. And that's okay. But you still have to thank them. No, you're not going to send a card saying, "Thanks for nothing" because that's rude. You will, however, want to send them a thank you card saying, "Thank you for making the trip to our wedding and spending our special day with us. It meant so much to have you there." Because you know what? In life, someone's time is worth more than their money and if people took the time to celebrate with you, you should be grateful.

There are guests, though, who won't be able to make your wedding. Maybe they're busy, maybe they're unable to travel, maybe they just don't like weddings. Who knows. But sometimes, those guests will send you a gift anyway. And that's really, really nice of them. You need to thank them, of course, but you can wait until you're sending out everyone else's thank you cards. That's especially nice if you use photos because those people missed seeing you in a wedding dress and your groom in a tux, so photos on your wedding thank you cards allow them to see just how amazing you looked.

People who just send back your RSVP card, decline your invitation, and do not send a gift, are the only people who don't get a thank you card.

Writing your thank yous? Before you do, you NEED to read The Ultimate Guide To Thank You Cards from

3. Choose photos that represent your wedding.
We got married downtown, took photos on the courthouse steps and near the water, had a beach reception, and a huge part of our wedding was Pete getting to play a song with our wedding band (and I bought him his dream guitar as a wedding gift to play during that song). I picked a photo from each of those parts of our wedding to go on the thank you card. I didn't pick anything from the church, but they were more serious and I wanted photos that showed more personality. Our guests who missed the wedding were able to see what happened. And all the photos, actually, were taken during private moments that were (almost) just us and the photographers. So even our guests that were there didn't see these moments until the thank you card. When I look at the photos, these are the moments that I feel capture our day beautifully. They were all selected very purposefully and I think they do a great job.

4. Stick with your theme.
If you have a color that you used throughout your wedding, continue that with your wedding thank you cards. Our colors were eggplant, lilac, and silver, so I made sure to use those colors everywhere we could. Our favors were silver buckets with purple ribbon (which my mom made). We used silver, eggplant, and lilac in our programs and in our thank you cards. Actually, our programs are also from MagnetStreet (you can check out a full post about them here). I made sure to use the same colors when we designed the thank you cards. MagnetStreet makes that really easy, so it works to your advantage to order your entire stationery suite from the same company. You don't have to order them at the same time, but the same store means the same colors and everything will match.

Plus, if your entire wedding was focused on black and pink, you don't want to all of a sudden introduce yellow at the last minute. Your thank you card is the bow on top of your wedding. Tie is nicely and make it cohesive.

Writing your thank yous? Before you do, you NEED to read The Ultimate Guide To Thank You Cards from

5. Include a personalized photo in the thank you card.
This is something Nicole did that I absolutely knew we were doing. Her photographer took a really nice photo of my family and extended family during her cocktail hour. I remember him taking the photo and thought it was great ... although I figured there was a chance I would never see it. I did see it ... in our thank you card. That photo is hanging on our fridge too, years later.

When we were sending out our cards, I made sure to find a really nice photo of everyone I could. There were a few people who just weren't in a single photo and some who were just in the background. So in those cases I either skipped a photo or, if it was a couple, I sent a nice photo of at least one half of the couple.

What I wanted to do, but didn't and wished I did now, was to set up disposable cameras near the escort cards and ask everyone to take a selfie when they walked in. That way, I would be sure to have a photo of everyone. But, really, not everyone signed the guest book (which was between the escort cards), so you can't expect that everyone would have taken a selfie either. Honestly, you're not going to get everyone, but you can try.

6. Hand write a personalized note in every card.
I know, it sounds so easy to have a generic message printed inside your wedding thank you cards and sign your names (or heck, even have your names printed too). But no. Just no. Your guests spent time and money to come and spend your wedding day with you. The least you can do is write them each a personalized note, thanking them for their generosity.

From the start of our wedding journey, I involved Pete in the card process. He helped me address and stuff our engagement party invitations. He wrote half of the thank you cards after the engagement party, the shower and again after the wedding. And he helped me stuff and stamp our wedding invitations too.

The way we did our shower thank you cards was simple. I wrote pretty much everything, and then Pete added an ending sentence or two (like, "Can't wait to see you in June!" or "So sad we won't be seeing in you June!") and we each signed our own names. The shower was thrown for me, so it was my responsibility to write most of the card but the gifts we received were half mine and half Pete's, so if he was sharing the gifts, he could share the card writing.

We followed a similar pattern with our wedding thank you cards (and our engagement party thank you cards too). We had a (pretty much) generic way to start almost every card and then a way to finish every card. So we each started half the cards with the salutation and the first sentence, then we traded cards so I would finish the ones Pete started and he would finish the ones I started. Then we both signed our own names. It was half the work, since no one had to do all the cards, and a nice way for us to spend time together.

Writing your thank yous? Before you do, you NEED to read The Ultimate Guide To Thank You Cards from

7. Buy a stamp or an embosser.
You're going to hand write your wedding thank you cards; you don't want to hand write your return address on every single envelope. I'm not a fan of address labels, honestly, because they're finite. You order a specific number of them and you have that many to use. With a stamp or embosser, you sort of have an infinite amount of uses. So far, from one ink pad, we've done our save the date cards, wedding invitations, thank you cards, and our first Christmas cards.

I absolutely love our stamper and it's been clutch for everything except our thank you cards. We ordered the luxe pearl cards from MagnetStreet, which is basically a really beautiful Italian linen paper that has a gorgeous shine to it. They're not flat matte cards. They have a heavy weight and appearance that is well worth the extra money. The luxe pearl cards comes with a matching shiny pearled envelope too. It looks beautiful in the mailbox ... but didn't mesh so well with our stamp. The ink never dried. We ended up using extra clear address labels on top as a sticker and that worked just fine, but we wouldn't have had this issue with an embosser. So your better bet is an embosser since you don't know what paper type you'll choose for everything. Whatever you choose, invest in one of those. And, if you make it like ours (sans last names) you can continue using them even after you're married.

8. Remember to add a stamp.
I know, that's such a silly reminder but you do have to stamp these. And if you order "small" cards (or even large ones), they have to be hand sorted so you'll need to add extra postage to them. If you don't, your guests will get a note from the post office that they owe some money in order to get their thank you card. Save yourself the phone calls (because people will call if you don't put enough postage) and make sure you put a stamp -- in the right amount -- on your cards.

Writing your thank yous? Before you do, you NEED to read The Ultimate Guide To Thank You Cards from

Designing our wedding thank you cards from MagnetStreet was really simple. I was able to scroll through the options and choose the one I liked best. The Sketched In Love thank you card was originally shown in blue hues, but I was able to change the colors, the font, the text, and (of course) the photos. I uploaded about 15 photos and was able to easily select and deselect photos to see what fit best.

When I was done designing them, the edge of one photo bled onto the back of the card. I absolutely didn't want that to happen, so I put a note in the "special request" section and asked a designer to fix that for me. Before the cards were printed, I was sent a proof of my order. The cards were designed exactly as I wanted (with no photo bleed). It was really great to be able to review them, especially since thank you cards are an expense. You don't want to spend a ton of money on something that isn't exactly what you want.

Our thank you cards from MagnetStreet came packaged in a really pretty white ribbon. It felt like I was opening a present, which was nice. They didn't come folded, which I suspected would happen since that's how our programs arrived. Folding them was easy, though, so no worries there. They felt really nice and high quality when we opened them, so I was so happy. We didn't want any moment of our wedding to feel cheap and I knew MagnetStreet wouldn't let us down.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What other tips do you have for writing wedding thank you cards?


  1. Those are beautiful cards. You put a lot of time and effort into them.

    slehan at juno dot com

  2. I am loving all these ideas for my cousins wedding this Summer!

  3. I know so many marrying this year. Very informational.

  4. such a thoughtful post. I don't think I've actually ever received a thank you card for attending a wedding before...

  5. Yes, beautiful cards! Send a thank you card even if you can't come up with the "perfect" thing to write in it (and delay sending because of that). What you send will be better than nothing! Or even if you think it is too late to send, send it anyway.

  6. Thank you! This article helped a lot.

  7. Good tips! Thanks. I will pass this on to my son's fiance.

  8. Great points and ideas. I've never received a thank you card from a wedding gift with pics from the wedding on it. Beautiful.

  9. Beautiful, I love how you wrote this post a lot of good info! I know your guests loved your thank you cards, you put a lot of thought into it!

    I love the tips/advice; great job describing everything as well. I love the idea of the custom stamp and Embosser! Great tip as well by including pictures of special moments captured ( especially the ones that guests didn't see).

    Thank you Lisa for such a wonderful post!


  10. What a great Thank You from your friend Nicole to receive the picture taken of your family. Mine would still be on the fridge too : )

  11. Thank you cards are so nice. :)

  12. I like the ombre pine cones very cute for a winter wedding. Also, I always do thank you's!

  13. great post - I tried to include one sentence about the person I was sending the thank you to, to make each TY personalized. We chose 1 photo - and it was a group photo outside the church after the ceremony - it is truly one of my favorites b/c our photographer had my husband & I in color & everyone else in B&W - my dress seamstress still has it hanging up from 5 1/2 years ago b/c she said it was the most unique TY she's ever received. I just felt the group shot really represented what our day was about...Family...being surrounded on the most special day of our lives by our family...that's what our day meant to us!